Category Archives: weaving

Kitchen Towels from the Loom

This is a closeup of my latest project line drying after the wet finishing step.

The warp was some cotton that I received from a generous weaving friend who was de-stashing and the weft was a crochet or knitting cotton that I found at a charity shop. The weft is slubby which can make for imperfect selvages that just for once might not be my fault.

The draft is modified from washcloths featured in Handwoven magazine Sept Oct 2008 which calls the structure a waffle weave treadling in a huck threading. I’m not so sure about the waffle weave part.

I wove the hem section using a very fine cotton that I picked up at a guild member’s de-stash garage sale. It was the first time I had woven hems using a much finer weft and the benefit is immediately apparent. I only wish I had very fine cotton in a shade other than green.

Each towel was woven with 1 1/2 inch hem sections and then 30 cm for the body of the towel. Yes a mixture of metric and imperial measurement but it works for me. The finished towels are small but thirsty and quick drying. The only concern is the longish floats but so far they haven’t been a problem in use.

I was so happy with these that I gave two towels to the friend who gifted me the green warp, put three towels into immediate use and then warped my Dorset folding loom for more of the same.

Finished towels on my newly maintained Druva Floor Loom

Face Masks and Weaving

Two completed face masks with fabric ties

It seems to me most makers are sewing masks at the moment and I’ve seen a few pop up for sale on my Instagram feed. The ones I’ve seen for sale are not of the quality I can make myself and I hope those makers are abiding to not for commercial use caveats. The masks shown in the photo are my current preferred mask pattern from Craftpassion. I’m not a big fan of the instructions on that site (too many options mixed up in the instructions) nor the number of ads that are served as you scroll through but the teenage and women- sized mask is a good fit for small faced people like, yes teenagers and women. I have tested the pattern on both.

While some of my crafting buddies are doing nothing but make masks and attend to their day jobs (and kudos to them for their focus and commitment) I have been mixing it up with a little yoga, a lot of cooking and some weaving.

Here is a little glimpse under my Druva four shaft floor loom. A long time ago I put a warp on to try Overshot, using the pattern in Next Steps in Weaving, which is such a great book for an advanced beginner like myself. I cheerfully ignored the instructions not to make the warp wider than specified, did the necessary calculations and expanded the width so the finished cloth can go on a table and not just in a collection of samples. I weave to use and to gift, not to have an awesome collection of samples.

I am now weaving my way through the different treadlings described in the book and having so much fun that I may well make some overshot towels next. There is a free pattern over at http://amandarataj.com for some very pretty overshot towels that she calls Bouquet Kitchen Towels. I’m very grateful to Amanda for sharing her pattern at no cost. It’s just what we need as we hunker down at home with our looms and our fibre stash.

Ombre Scarf

This scarf uses Bendigo 3ply for warp and weft and includes an ombre wool blend in the weft.

I love the drape and softness of this scarf but my next project will be focussed on achieving a better selvage. In attempting to avoid draw in I have gone too far in the other direction and have loopy selvages. My weaving mentor suggested weights on the selvages and I will also look at the angles and how snugly each pass fits at the edge.

A scarf knotted to show the colour variation at the ends

Keep going, keep making, keep improving.

A Tribute To Kay Faulkner

Queensland weaver Kay Faulkner passed away unexpectedly on Friday 31 May 2019. I learned of her passing from a post made to her blog by her children and I am deeply saddened.

I am saddened that the weaving community has lost such a skilled and passionate member, saddened that her children have had to deal with the sudden loss of their beloved mother and saddened that I will never again have the opportunity to appreciate the community and learning opportunities that Kay offered via the classes she taught at her home studio.

I can’t speak of Kay’s full professional and artistic life as I met her first in 2017 when I was a participant in her linen and lace class. She taught that class from her home studio in Birkdale, Queensland but frequently also taught and presented at workshops and conferences locally and at international weaving events. She brought weaving into the public eye and will be remembered for promoting dying and weaving as a teacher and an artist.

In recent times, Kay wove the wool and silk cloth to be used on High Court judges’ robes. This work put her and the art and craft of weaving into the media spotlight in Australia in 2016. I had the opportunity to see and handle one of the samples of this cloth and the pictures can’t communicate how supple and light the cloth felt in my hands.

Kay is survived by her son Andrew and her daughter Helen. Her loss will be keenly felt by her immediate family, and also those to whom she was a loyal friend. The loss extends to the wider weaving community both in Australia and overseas.

A version of this obituary has been submitted to the editor of the Victorian Handweavers and Spinners Guild for possible inclusion in the July 2019 edition of their newsletter Treadles. At the time of this blog post the July Treadles had not been published.